Do You Know the Difference Between Worrying and Problem Solving?

Worrying Woman

 Many people worry by focusing on the problem or situation, rather than thinking about how to make the problem go away or improve the situation that is causing them distress.  When we change our method and focus instead on the solution – the problem-solving aspect of the worrisome situation – we are more able to focus on those things we can change.  Problem-solving moves us toward more constructive alternatives, and has a more positive effect on our mood, while also allowing us to find potential … [Read more...]

Are You Obsessing About Your Spouse’s Affair?

couple split

Many people who have struggled with a spouse’s infidelity, find themselves still thinking about it years, even decades after it happened.  I had one person call me from South Africa and tell me that even though she and her husband had worked things through and were still together many years later, she still found herself thinking about his affair.   Conventional wisdom would have you say to her “Let it go, already!”   But why do people obsess and is there any value in keeping that betrayal … [Read more...]

WOMEN – Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

Often, women do not make time to take care of themselves. We are so busy taking care of others -spouses, children, parents, neighbors, charities – that we find ourselves at the bottom of our “to do” list. A while ago I gave a talk to women on the board of a large charity about this very issue. All agreed that they had to do a better job; one woman, the husband of a physician, hadn’t had a mammogram or pap smear in years and said she just never got to it. While that may be an extreme example, I … [Read more...]

Ten Commandments for Better Relationships

girlfriends of 3

I am often asked how to fix or improve or start relationships. People who are shy often have trouble with small talk and have trouble starting relationships when they are in a new situation. People who have conflictual family or friend relationships will sometimes seek my advice on how to change a negative interaction to a positive one, or how to avoid a similar pitfall in the future. Sometimes there is a boss who is hard to work with and, of course, there are always those clients who have … [Read more...]

When Someone You Love Is Disabled

Alison & Barry

    I confess. I was one of those people who never thought much about disabilities. Although I have had health problems through the years, none has left me unable to do the things I wanted to do. So my focus on disabilities was more about placards on cars and signs in parking lots. Then 16 months ago my husband had a stroke. It left him unable to use his left arm or leg, but we were lucky that his mind was fine and his speech, initially a little garbled, recovered quickly. Suddenly, things … [Read more...]

Just Let Them Play

Child with leaves

  While this is not new information, it bears repeating.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have time for play.  What do we mean by play?  It means time to create their own games with parents or other children, time to be outside in an unstructured way, time to be creative in the house with crafts, playing with blocks or other toys that allow for creativity and fun.  Play is a way to spend time that is unbounded and unscheduled, to develop curiosity and discover new … [Read more...]

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) or How to Change the Myths about Sleeplessness

AASM

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has declared that Monday, March 12, 2018, is Insomnia Awareness Day. Each night millions of people in the U.S. struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. For some, this is only a brief problem. But for others, insomnia can become a severe, ongoing struggle. The statistics vary depending on where you look. Some say one-in-three people suffer from insomnia. Others put the number of sleepless people at 60 million. Regardless of the total, it is estimated … [Read more...]

Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder

asking-questions

“What is the matter with you!” Judy says to her friend Brittney. “I take you to Red Bank for lunch with some friends from school and you don’t say a word all afternoon. I feel like whenever I go out with you if other people are around I have to be the one to make all of the conversation. “   Judy may sound angry, but in fact, she is worried about her friend. They are entering high school and Judy wants to widen her social circle but does not want to leave Brittney behind. But no matter who it … [Read more...]

New Year’s Resolutions that Lead to Happier Parents and Children

3 generations of family

Often, I meet with parents who are struggling with their children’s misbehavior and with feelings of failure as a parent. I point out to them that their own schooling did not teach parenting skills. Most parents do the best they can with the skills that they have. They often model these skills on what they have learned from their parents. So what can you do to make the year ahead a better one for you and for your children?   • Be aware of your own feelings and if they are negative, … [Read more...]

How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

New Year resolutions

As I thought about New Year’s Resolutions, it occurred to me that they often derive from some negative way that we see ourselves. I spend too much money; therefore, my resolution is that I will save more. I am 10 pounds overweight; thus, I will exercise more and eat healthy. I work too much, so I resolve to spend more time with my family.   The problem with these resolutions is not only that they come from some judgmental part of our self-image, but that they are hard to keep. We all have … [Read more...]